Should I Report a Suspicion of Abuse or Neglect to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)?

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Should I report a suspicion of child abuse and neglect to the Florida Department of children and Families (DCF)? In Florida, the Department of Children and Families is the government agency that investigates allegations and reports of child abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, children suffer personal injuries and are otherwise abused in schools, day care centers, homes, and other locations. If a person, whether a family member, school official, doctor, or other person has a suspicion that a child is the victim of child abuse, it should reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline.

Florida law is quite clear in that a person who reports a suspicion of child abuse has immunity from prosecution or liability for the reporting of the abuse. This assumes that the person has reported the incident or suspicions in good faith. In other words, if a person wants to get a friend family member or neighbor in trouble and schemes to report allegations to the Florida DCF with no basis for the allegations ,then the reporter may not get the benefit of such immunity or confidentiality.

Tragically, many incidents of child abuse and neglect go unnoticed and unreported in the State of Florida. Either the signs and symptoms are less than obvious or there just is not any effort to take action by a person who witnesses the abuse or the aftermath of the abuse.

Children should be provided a safe haven in homes, schools, and day care centers. Unfortunately, these are the very locations in which many children are victims of child abuse and neglect. When a child is victimized by another person, there may be a civil case or claim to pursue on behalf of the injured child. Because of the complexities of these cases, it is often helpful to have the advice, consultation, and legal representation from a Florida Child Injury Lawyer. The attorneys at Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A., a law firm based in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach Florida, have been representing injured children and their families since 1957. For over 50 years, the firm has dedicated its efforts to the challenges and needs of injured child. Contact the attorneys at Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. for a free consultation.

David Wolf, a partner with Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A., is the author of two books available to parents on the issues that arise in a child injury case or claim. These books are available for free for parents and concerned persons at The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know and Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents.